Autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR videos as they’re more commonly known, have peaked in popularity over the past few years – with viewers claiming to feel more relaxed while listening to the trending feel-good sound creations. But why?
With the new culture of ASMR YouTube videos garnering a sea of fans from all over the world, we take a look at the phenomenon to explain what it is about this new cult that people find so enthralling…
So EXACTLY what is it?
ASMR videos deliver a sedative tingling sensation, similar to ‘pins and needles’, that’s been described as a ‘brain orgasm’ – starting from the scalp and traveling down the body. ASMR is said to be triggered by gentle sights and sounds such as the crackling of a flame, whispers, or the soft crunching of food.
“It’s a very pleasant, natural high state that you want more and more of,” Maria of YouTube channel Gentle Whispering ASMR tells CNBC. Heather Feather ASMR goes on to tell followers of her channel that it has a similar feeling to someone playing with your hair or tracing your back with their finger tips.
So why do we love them?
Heard of Bob Ross? He attained cult status and is a global icon for his calming painting tutorial videos. News.com.au claims to have heard reports that Bob reached such status from his soothing voice, similar to what can be found on ASMR videos. Research revealed that his positive outlook on life, often portrayed through one of his many catchphrases like “There are no mistakes, just happy little accidents”, is said to trigger ASMR.
We could say Bob Ross practically jump started the ASMR universe before the term was first searched on Google in 2011. Let’s call him Bob the ASMR God.
According to The List, Dr. Craig Richard, a professor of bio-pharmaceutical sciences and founder of ASMR University, divided the triggers for ASMR stimuli into three parts: tactile stimuli which can include the mere thought of touch; visual stimuli which observes slow movement; and auditory stimuli triggered by gentle, caring tones.
Is it really all that popular?
“ASMRtists” really started gaining popularity in 2016, with the top search on Google at the time being “What is ASMR?”. This search still remains strong on Google’s search lists, peaking at 100% interest on October 2018 with over 476K views going to a single video posted just a month ago.
If it’s popularity doesn’t convince you, we recommend checking out these ASMR royals:
- Gentle Whispering ASMR (arguably the queen of the ASMR universe)
- ASMR Glow
- Heather Feather ASMR
- Gibi ASMR
- WhispersRed ASMR
Is it here to stay?
Sure, it can be super weird to watch the first time. I mean, it’s not exactly a common, everyday phenomenon for someone to stare intensely into a camera while stroking a sponge. But the way we see it, ASMR has become a revolutionary alternative to modern day therapy – with it saving people’s pockets right in the comforts of their own home.
Don’t take our word for it, though. The internet has been buzzing with discussions of how AMSR has resulted in improvements of mental health and sleep deprivation. It could potentially be a solution for a number of mental illnesses. Right now it’s pretty tricky to get specific scientific data on this, but we’re sure they’re working on it as we speak…